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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Socialism is about sharing

Socialism is about sharing isn't it? It's all about redistributing wealth on a more equitable basis. When the government increases taxes, they are quick to assure you how necessary taxes are to fund the kind of society we want to have. Money in your pocket can be wasted. In their pocket, it is directed to those in greater need.

The average NZ voter believes this implicitly. Their eyes are kept firmly on the pay packets of those earning over $200,000 a year whilst the governments high tax regime starts kicking in at $38,000.

This is where it is useful to see Labour in action in other countries. Australia is interesting because it is close to NZ, somewhat similiar, but has the unique situation that they have large and powerful State Government as well as a Federal Government.

When GST was introduced in Australia, the Federal Government set a formula where the State Government would keep most of the GST related revenue. As part of a tax reform, the deal was for the state to drop all the extra taxes and be content with GST revenue to replace a complicated, multi-level system. In true socialist fashion, the potential was to redistribute some of the excess income to poorer states.

So what happened with New South Wales under Labour? They are angry that a small slice of their GST revenue has gone to other states.

Lets look at the situation more closely.

Do they get less GST revenue than they were expecting? Nope, they get a lot more. It's been a windfall by anyones measure.

Does the slice of the GST go to other states that are not also Labour governments? Nope, all of the state governments are run by Labour.

Have they dropped the extra taxes? Nope - not all of them. They've also added new taxes. Funnily enough, adding new taxes has driven down investment and a lot more money is flowing to other states from NSW investors. Instead of learning from this, they use this as the justification to keep more of the tax revenue slice.

It seems to me that a socialist government would understand the concept of redistribution of taxes. However, when it comes down to it, they hate the idea that money they "earn" is taken from them, even if they earn more, and even if the other states are arguably worse off. They demand the right to spend ALL of their earnings as they see fit. They argue by spending the money back into the economy, it will help their citizens anyway, which has flow on effects. Income tax, for example, goes to the federal government which then redistributes money across the nation. Why take more?

Let's all join NSW Labour in saying a big "F*ck You" to the rest of Australia. Are they going to drop the extra taxes in NSW? Nope. Well, let's extend the "F*ck You" to the people of NSW. Strong language, but "baloney" doesn't cut the mustard with this lot.

Let's also think long and hard about what kind of socialism you get when you vote Labour. It's not about principles, its about control.

Are you sure you are not being played?

Posted by ZenTiger | 6/23/2005 11:40:00 am


Blogger Ackers1 said...

So all the State governments are Labor and they've all added new taxes but NSW is the big ogre epitomising socialism because it's complaining about some of its revenue going to the other states but hang on a minute aren't they all Labor too and didn't they all add taxes so aren't they socialist and don't socialists by definition fuck you over.....oh god I give up. It's all too complicated. Those poor dumb Australians. And to think they've just elected another Labor Government in NT and given them a massively increased majority.

6/23/2005 01:06:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

ackers1, I have no idea what your point is. Really.

"don't socialists by definition fuck you over"

I disagree with that bit - there are many different groups that fall into that category, they just use different reasons. The definition is therefore not useful. The point of my post was to suggest the reasons Labour "sell" the voters differ from their actions.

Yes, all the state governments are Labour and the federal government is Liberal. The Aussies aren't quite as dumb. Maybe they like playing one group off against another?

The (Federal) Liberals are pushing ahead with tax cuts. Kim Beazley, to get known as the new (again) tough talking Federal Opposition Labour Leader, has vowed to push up taxes, even if people don't want it. Carrying out the unpopular decisions is the reverse pyschology tactic of the revamped Labour Opposition.

If the Aussies go for it, then I'd have to agree with the dumb Australian line. Poor? Yep, that's definitely what Labour wants.

6/23/2005 02:11:00 pm  
Blogger Ackers1 said...

Sorry, I was trying to take the piss out of you because I couldn't work out what you were on about! Beazley as far as I know has not vowed to push up taxes. What he has done is threatened to block Howards tax cuts which are skewered towards the wealthy - his proposal is for more equitable tax cuts not an increase in taxes.

6/23/2005 02:29:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Oops - yep, he's threatening to block tax cuts, not push them up. He's not that naive. I'll fix the post.

Looks like I'm in a lose-lose situation. You have no idea what I'm on about, so you take the piss. When you finally work out what I'm on about, you take the piss!

I didn't realise my post was that confusing. You don't think the NSW Labour government were just a wee bit hippo over the "share the GST" thing?

I kinda thought it was a true colours issue.

6/23/2005 03:36:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Bugger. Just remembered, I can't edit comments. Anyway, point noted. Labour does not want to give tax cuts in Australia, at Federal and State Levels.

Glad we cleared that up.

6/23/2005 03:39:00 pm  
Blogger Ackers1 said...

The NSW Government are in a no win situation at the moment. They have allowed services to run down to such an extent that they are completely on the nose with the NSW public. Public transport in particular the rail system is a key issue here along with the usual suspects health and education. I don't think the GST thing is an issue at all. I'm not really up to speed on the issue but I do know that the resource rich states such as Queensland and WA are raking it in at the moment with commodity prices as high as they are so NSW having to give up anything to them doesn't go down at all well. We are of course the most overgoverned place on the planet and if you think your pollies have their noses in the trough then I'm sure they have nothing on State and federal politicians in OZ. Their super schemes are enough to make normal mortals weep.

6/23/2005 04:51:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

"The NSW Government are in a no win situation at the moment"

What's to lose? The whole point about socialism is to take money from one group and redistribute it to another.

If the NSW government thinks that's unfair, and can justify reasons for it, doesn't that just make them like every other tax payer in the socialist system? Surely they should just grin and bear it. After all, you can't argue with the greater good.

The irony is so strong, its delicious.

I agree with your point about Pollie Payment Schemes. They need to be subjected to the very rules they make for every-one else.

Same pay packet, no benefits. Let them put in expense claims for the tax office to scrutinize. Same super scheme (10% of gross salary). Same tax rates, no exmptions etc.

Far better to pay them double or treble, but no perks, than the current system. Live by the laws they make.

6/23/2005 05:56:00 pm  
Blogger fm said...

I think your point is good one Zen. I'm a local, so let me try to clear it up a little.

As you say, some of the GST revenue is re-distributed to some states with less capacity or greater need (however you want to frame it). The idea being that it is designed to provide a similar level of services no matter where you go in Australia. There is an independent board using various complex formulas to arrive at the redistribution. In effect, the larger and more densely populated states such as New South Wales and Victoria end up subsidising the other States to some extent. Queensland is subsidised to the effect of a few hundred million mainly because it has reasonably large urban centres spread all the way up and down its fairly large coastline, as well as into the outback. It's not too much of a subsidy when you think about the total amounts of money being collected in the GST and I understand that Queensland will lose this subsidy through population growth sometime this decade (and if memory serves, Victoria will become a net benefactor). It's true that Queensland and Western Australia are reaping it in through mining royalties at the moment, but then, these states doesn't have Bass Strait oil and gas fields either, or a ski industry, or a significant manufacturing sector. So I guess it's all relative (and cyclic). That whinge has more to do with the perilous state of the local politics in New South Wales and the systematic underinvestment in infrastructure, as you correctly pointed out. Every government has to blame someone, and NSW Labor doesn't mind blaming Labor governments from other states, or the Federal Liberal government.

But the hypocrisy is evident as you pointed out. Labour governments of all stripes believe that there should be heavy redistribution of taxes in order to help those in need, but when the same principle was applied to a labour state, well, then it wasn't a principal they subscribe to at all. Personally, I've long suspected the whole redistribution thing to be the politics of envy rather than of true compassion, but that's just my opinion.

6/23/2005 06:40:00 pm  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

I like sharing, but on a purely voluntary basis. For example I enjoy offering my time to help people learn things I am already good at.

It's my observation many leftists of the upper middle class intellectual variety are actually quite selfish with their own time, but typically quite generous with everyone elses money.

6/23/2005 08:53:00 pm  

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